A delight for those with a penchant for the classical side of the music sphere, the International Music Festival and Piano Competition of Ibiza returns for its biannual takeover through August and September. Bringing imagination and spectacle to the magnificent church of San Carlos and cultural centre, musicians from Europe and beyond are invited to perform and also compete for the title of champion pianist in the Balearic’s longest running showcase. Since 1987, San Carlos’s venues, a non-profit organisation, has been gifting residents and visitors alike with one of Europe’s most recognised contests. This year the festival reaches its 32nd anniversary and 23rd edition of serving the finest sounds coming from the piano, violin, cello and more.
The show kicks off on August 18th with, first, the music festival that runs until September 7th. Every few days an esteemed guest will take to the stage delivering sensational performances across both the church and the cultural centre. Some stand-out names on the schedule include Shih-Hsien Yeh from Taiwan who won 1st Prize at Ibiza’s International Piano Competition in 2017 as well as Miguel Iglesias from Spain who took top title in the same year under the youth category. Organist Giampaolo Di Rosa from Italy also features as well as nearby town, Santa Eulalia’s regional band set to take the reins. Entry into the festival showcases are at a fee of €5 with minors allowed to participate for free. A classical music lover’s dream, over 122 concerts have been put on by the organisation over the years with more than 300 artists that have come to the White Isle to perform. Many illustrious residents attend the display yet the invite is firmly open to anyone.
The prestigious Ibiza International Piano Competition completes proceedings with a takeover of the first week of September. Beginning with an opening ceremony and presentation of the roster of participants on the 3rd September, a selection of categories will go on to compete. On the agenda are the under 16s and under 30s ranks all putting on their most compelling acts for the hopes of an award at the closing ceremony on September 8th. Offering a generous selection of talent throughout the week, the contest sessions and final gala are free for all to spectate. And, generous the show has been, having brought to the island over 852 contestants since its conception from all over the globe.
With several of the island’s councils and businesses coming together to support the two events, the number of years in the running says it all. As one of the oldest occasions in the diary, the festival has clocked 46,000 visitors through its door and it’s of little wonder. Distinguishing itself by stellar musical acts, the nightlife scene is a world away from this affair. Welcoming a different sort of get together, drinking in the atmosphere of some of the world’s brightest talents may not be something typically associated with the island. Yet, perfectly positioned towards the latter part of the season, what better way to take in the slower, lazier days of the summer by basking in a harmonious soundscape. While the festival was once traditionally annual, its turn in 2001 to a biannual affair means if you’re around the island, be sure not to miss one of the dates!